The paper book was supposed to be half-dead by now. But while digital media may have swallowed half the music industry’s profits and shifted much of our TV-viewing time toward places like Netflix, it has not destroyed our oldest media habit of all: reading books.
Sixty-five percent of American adults say they’ve read a physical book in the last year, according to the Pew Research Center (via the New York Times). The news contradicts some predictions about the demise of books that came with the rise of e-books, which was accelerated by the launch of the Amazon Kindle nearly 10 years ago. Indeed, only 6% of Americans say they read exclusively on digital devices.
That isn’t to say that e-books aren’t augmenting our reading habits. When audiobooks and e-books are included, the percentage of Americans who consume books shoots up to 73%.